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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

May 16, 2011
Home Remodeling by the Numbers

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Find out which home improvements are worth the money and which are unlikely to pay off.


Are you trying to decide between moving and remodeling, or whether you can afford home improvements or repairs? First, ask yourself whether the improvement is a want or a need. Repairing a leaky roof is a need. New kitchen cabinets and swimming pools are wants—cosmetic improvements whose cost may not be justified.

Home weatherization improvements like adding insulation and energy-efficient windows will lower energy costs and may be worth the expense. Just remember:

• Get multiple job estimates and ask for references.

• Pad your budget to account for unexpected expenses, and

• Be sure you can afford the payments.

Bottom line: Some remodels and repairs save money in the long run and may be less expensive than moving. But don’t take on more debt than your budget will allow.

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